Get the five-star hotel look at home with this luxurious interiors sale

Items from the Intercontinental, the Westin, Powerscourt and Glenlo Abbey among more than 1,000 lots in online auction

There’s a chance to bring a five-star touch to your home or property this week, with a sale of contents from some of the country’s most luxurious hotels, including Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel (formerly the Four Seasons) and the Westin.

The sale, which is due to renovations at the hotels over Covid-19, also includes the Powerscourt Resort and Spa in Wicklow and Glenlo Abbey in Galway, while there are further lots from the four-star Trinity City Hotel in Dublin and memorabilia from Buck Whaley’s nightclub and Larry Murphy’s bar.

Organised by antiques dealer Niall Mullen and Limerick businessman Kieran Murray, the sale, of over 1,000 lots, will be conducted by auctioneer Aidan Foley in an online sale on January 17th and 18th, with viewing on Dublin’s Prussia Street from January 13th-16th.

“All of these hotels and bars were refurbished during Covid, when their doors were shut and the contents moved to storage,” says Mullen, who previously organised the sale of the entire contents of Dublin’s Morrison and Berkeley Court hotels.


Some of the most interesting lots are not from hotels at all, with an interesting selection from one of Ireland’s oldest shops, Reads Cutlers (now House of Read) on Parliament Street in Dublin. A Columbia barber’s chair, from the turn of the last century, set in a wooden frame with crushed green velvet upholstery with a nickel-plated trim and footrest, is estimated at €400-€800 and is a really superb piece. Also from Read’s is a lovely partners desk by Theodore Alexander with 40 drawers originally from Harrods in London. Estimated at €2,000-€4,000, it has matching side and coffee tables at €200-€400 and €500-€800 respectively. The sale also lists an old Victorian haberdashery countertop display in which the shopkeeper would pull out drawers to show customers items in greater detail (€400-€600).

The ticket office from Dublin’s longest-running cinema, The Ambassador – which was originally constructed in 1764 as an assembly hall and event centre as part of the Rotunda Hospital – was removed three decades ago and is listed at €500-€1,000. Should you need some, there are four pairs of contemporary black velvet cinema seats – complete with foot rests – at €50-€100 per pair.

Chests of drawers, wardrobes, gilded chairs and upholstered furniture, much of it American-made, are in what Mullen says is remarkably good condition. It is worth noting that commercial-grade furniture is more durable than domestic, so it is worth reupholstering some of the vast seating range on offer.

Leading artists cut a rug

On January 26th, Ceadogán, one of Ireland’s handmade artisan rug makers, will launch “Island”, a project uniting 12 of the country’s most well-known artists including designs by Sean Scully, Gottfried Helnwein, Dorothy Cross, Maser, Domino Whisker, Gilbert Menassa, Hannah Ní Mhaonaigh, Mary O’Connor, Colm Mac Athlaoich, Sean Atmos, Lola Donoghue and Alice Fitzgerald.

Drawing on their individual designs and interpretations, each artist has created a unique one-off rug or wall hanging piece. The collection will go on display at the Hang Tough Contemporary gallery on Exchequer Street, Dublin and following the exhibition, the artworks – which are expected to fetch between €1,500 and €16,000 each – will be auctioned off on February 5th by Whytes.

Fifty per cent of profits from the sale will go to the Peter McVerry Trust, in aid of the homeless, and the remainder to fund a regenerative project at the site of Ceadogán studios on Bannow Bay, Co Wexford.

Entitled For the Birds, the project aims to create sustainable production processes.

“Towards that end, we have made prototypes with various materials like alpaca wool from Loop Head Alpacas in west Clare as well as hemp and wool. Encouraged by these results, the For the Birds project aims to take things further, introducing regenerative techniques on-site while also exploring ways of setting up a small-scale mill so that yarns can be spun right there at home. It’s an exciting project which will help us create unique pieces while supporting and creating wildlife habitat and biodiversity” says Colm Kenny of Ceadogán, who with artist Martina Navrátilová has been making rugs from their base in Wexford for the past 30 years.

Three times a charm for National Antiques Fair

Following the success of its recent move to Limerick Racecourse, which allowed the fair – which has been running for 35 years in the historic city – to be expanded, the National Antiques Fair will take place for its third time in the new venue over the weekend of January 21st and 22nd. “Our first outing here last September was fantastic with the crowds descending on us in droves. They loved our new venue. Again, we ran the fair here in November and it was an unmitigated success. The crowds were enormous and the support from our dealers equally so. This reinvention seems to have been the best move I have made in many years,” says organiser Robin O’Donnell.

Among the stand holders are some long-standing names in the Irish Antique Dealers Association including Courtville Antiques, George Stacpoole and Treasures Irish Art.

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle

Elizabeth Birdthistle, a contributor to The Irish Times, writes about property, fine arts, antiques and collectables